Scientific Name:Agropyron Repens a.k.a Elytrigia Repens
Common Name(s): Quack grass, Couch grass, Twitch grass, Quick grass, Scrutch grass, Devil's grass.
Origin: Europe and Western Asian, spread through man' movement throughout the World. Now infests 37 different crops in 65 countries.
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Identification: Flowering occurs from late June to July. Approximately 25 to 40 seeds are produce on a green to bluish-green spike 5cm-30cm tall. Grass-like. Leaves are usually 9 to 10 mm wide, 6 to 20 cm long, finely pointed and flat. They are pale yellow to green in colour with a very fine growth of hairs on the upper surface.
Characteristics:

  • one of the most difficult weeds to control
  • rapid establishment, an extensive mat of underground rhizomes with the ability to produce new plants, biotypes can be generated through sexual reproduction.
  • Quack grass is self-sterile and relies on wind for cross-pollination.
  • now infests 37 different crops in 65 countries.
  • Highly competitive, can reduce yields of crops as much as 25%-85% in corn crops, 19%-55% in soybeans and up to 75% in wheat.
  • This effective infestation is thought to be because of quack grass' "luxurious" use of nutrients, and is estimated to use 55% of the nitrogen, 45% of the phosphorus, and 68% of the potassium available for plant use.
Habitat:
  • known as a temperate, cool season grass, growing vigorously in spring and fall, producing up to 2.5cm new rhizome growth per day.
  • normally found in fine textured soils, grows in neutral to slightly alkaline soil,with moderate soil moisture.
  • commonly found in open areas, and can make up 90% of the biomass in an abandoned field, until shrubs and bushes invade the area, therefore the grass will become less prominent as it becomes eliminated.
  • can be found in farming areas of B.C.
Control/ eradication recommendations:
  • Fall tillage with either a moldboard plough or a soil saver is more effective in reducing the total amount of rhizomes present in the soil than spring tillage. Tillage also changes the distribution of rhizomes within the soil profile. In no-till, rhizomes are concentrated close to the soil surface, whereas with moldboard ploughing they are more uniformly distributed throughout the plough layer. The deeper the rhizomes within the soil profile the more uneven the emergence pattern of the shoots, thereby affecting the level of control achieved by selective herbicides.
References:
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/quackgrass.htm
http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/weedguid/quackg.htmexternal image quackgrassf1.gifexternal image quackgrassf1.gifexternal image quackgrassf1.gifexternal image quackgrassf1.gif

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